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32 Days of Halloween VI, Movie Night No. 18: The Black Cat (1934)

By Widge - posted 10.17.12 @ 7:00 pm

Karloff and Lugosi in The Black Cat (1934)

The first time Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi shared billing, it was in 1934's The Black Cat. It might have been inspired by Poe but that's about the extent of it. Instead, it's a tale of revenge that ends with an incredibly creepy climax for 1934...which apparently was originally to be even more explicit. (Sort of surprised nobody's come along to remake the thing.) The version we have here isn't the clearest in the world, but it's worth watching regardless to see these two go toe to toe on screen. Fantastic moments.

The best place to get this is as part of The Bela Lugosi Collection...which is odd that they just don't release a Lugosi/Karloff boxed set--Rue Morgue is the only non-Karloff film on there.

Oh, and one post script. This snippet is so bizarre I just have to share it: apparently to publicize the film, Karloff and Lugosi judged a black cat contest. Or something. Showing here.

Last year we were struggling through Blood of the Man Devil. Before then, we were checking out Invisible Ghost, Mystery of the Wax Museum, Billy the Kid vs. Dracula and Revolt of the Zombies.

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Widgett Walls is Need Coffee's Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. He is the author of the novel Mystics on the Road to Vanishing Point, and two collections of short stories, Magnificent Desolation and Something Else: The Complete First Season. He is also co-author of the children's book There's a Zombie in My Treehouse! All of those books are available in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon. He is also the narrator and publisher of the first unabridged recording of Seneca's letters, available here. He is active on both Twitter and Facebook. (If you befriend him on Facebook, do say you came via Need Coffee.) He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He hardly ever sleeps.

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A Lone Voice in the Wilderness

    At 15:36 of the film as presented above, Lugosi uses a French expression while referring to the architecture of the house. Does anyone know what that means in English? Phonetically, the first word sounds like shek, but I cannot find a French equivalent. Perhaps the second word is d'oueve/of the work, but I still don't get the idiomatic meaning. Does anyone know?

    Comment by John Lee — January 23, 2013 @ 1:47 am

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